By: Steve Vaughn, National Director of Field Operations, HELP Inc.
An Inspection Selection System (ISS) score is a key factor in determining which trucks will be pulled in by enforcement for inspections. Weigh station bypass decisions are frequently based on ISS scores and other credential information. Because everyone is looking for ways to operate more efficiently and save time, fleet owners and managers often ask me what specific actions they can take to lower their carrier ISS score. My answer is to tell them there might be a better way to approach the issue. Instead of focusing on direct ways to lower their ISS score, they should step back and see the bigger picture: improving overall fleet safety by involving the entire team.
When fleets make safety a key part of their operation, their ISS scores are likely to be lower. And as you may recall from my previous blog, when it comes to ISS scores, the lower the better, and that should occur naturally when safety is a priority.
The first step to lowering ISS scores is to recognize it is a fleet-wide effort. While some tend to focus on drivers and driver behavior when it comes to the safety equation, the reality is that everyone in the organization plays a role including management, technicians and dispatchers.
Using dispatchers as an example, when they are on board with improving fleet safety and by extension lowering ISS scores, they will review things like:
- Time requirements for the driver to get from Point A to Point B. As an alternative, dispatchers should be asking themselves if they are putting drivers at risk by not allowing them enough time. Doing so risks the occurrence of an Hours of Service violation;
- Allowing sufficient time for loading;
- Allowing sufficient time for unloading.
Technicians aligned with the corporate safety goals will perform thorough inspections every time and will not rush the process. They will pay extra attention to safety-related components to ensure trucks do not leave the yard unless they are in safe operating condition.